Thursday, April 1, 2010

Books that I would ignore my children to read

A friend of mine was recently discussing a book club she is in and some of the books they have been tackling. She said that a few of them were so good that it was hard not to ignore her children when she was reading. That got me to thinking - which books have I read are so good that I would shrug off my motherly duties to lose myself in their pages?

I am a serial re-reader, so the mark of a great book, for me, is one that I pick up again and again and it still captivates me like it is the first time. That being said, I am not claiming that these books are great pieces of literature. I would love to be a book snob and list some of the really complex, tedious classics to make you think I am really smart. While I have read my share of high-brow stuff, sometimes you just want to disappear into a really good story!

So, here are a few of the books that I can't read when my kids are around because they are too hard to put down and, before you know it, one is crying, one is hanging off of the microwave and I can't find the third.

Harry Potter 1 - 7, by J.K. Rowling
Talk about disappearing into a good story! Not only does reading these books make me ignore my children, I forget I have children at all. J.K. Rowling provided her readers with the ultimate fantasy world. After reading the series more than a few times, I am not entirely convinced that there isn't a secret wizarding world hidden from us muggles.

The Twilight Saga 1 - 4, by Stephenie Meyer
I'll take some flack from my book snob friend, Joe, for putting these on my list, but I don't care. I read all four of these books over a two-week period and immediately read them again. I have mentioned how amazing my husband is in past posts and even he paled in comparison to Edward. The first book transported me right back to high school when my crush would walk past and I would get butterflies in my stomach. We should all have an Edward. Unless, of course, you prefer Team Jacob (you know who you are).

Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Funny, moving, enlightening and very entertaining. There are elements of this book that I have incorporated into my life, so I can honestly say that it was life-changing. If I had read this book before I had kids, I would have been on the next flight to Italy and this blog would be about my crazy travels.

The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory
That King Henry was a naughty, naughty boy. Not many men have the nerve to sleep with a girl and then marry her sister. I have always found English history fascinating, so Philippa Gregory's books are right up my alley and this is her best by far. Make yourself a proper cup of English tea and curl up with this one on a rainy day.

The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson
This is a true story about a gruesome murderer, the building of the World's Fair in Chicago and how their fates were intertwined. The thing that I love about this book is that I constantly forget that it actually happened. It reads like the best of crime novels, but the pictures scattered throughout the book remind you that it was all real. I have read it a few times and it still gives me chills. This is a book that I recommend to absolutely everyone.

The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
The one piece of classic literature on my list is one of my most worn out books in my collection. And don't go and cheat by buying the abridged version. You need to read this one in all of it's 1,243 page glory. It has one of the best chapter titles ever written - How To Rescue A Gardener from Dormice Who Eat His Peaches. This could have ended in a few places and I would have been satisfied, but it keeps building and getting better and better, culminating in the ultimate tale of revenge.

I have other favorite books, but I would be writing forever if I dared to tackle my entire list! These were the can't-put-it-down-even-when-the-kids-are-tearing-my-house-to-shreds books. Let's face it, they are tearing apart the house anyways, so I might as well entertain myself while they do!


  1. Yeah, I can't condone Twilight, but I haven't read it either. Mostly because I'm not a 14 year old girl. :)

    Potter was indeed entrancing. I read nearly every book in a sitting. When I couldn't quite finish, the rest of my world stopped - showering, eating, proper sleep - until the book was completed.

    Monte Cristo is my all-time favorite, and I don't have a favorite anything. First time I read it, I was all about the revenge; the second time, I read it as schizophrenia; the third, I was like, "Let it go dude." The book changes as you do and it's a fascinating tale.

    The others I haven't read, but I'm sure they're acceptable for pass-the-day reads.

    Good list, Laura.

  2. I love all of these books!!!!